James Brown


b. 1879    d. 1919

Champion melodeon player from Edinburgh who recorded extensively from around 1910-1918. An unidentified, undated (c. 1918) publicity note from Winner Records in the collection of Nigel Gatherer states:

“James Brown, who was born in Leith in 1879, gave early evidence of his love for the accordion. He began to play at the age of three; won his first prize, a silver medal, when eight; won a silver cup and the championship of the East of Scotland in 1898; in 1905 in open competition won a second silver cup, and in the same year the championship of the West of Scotland and another silver cup. From 1913 to 1915 he toured the halls, until he joined the RFA and became practically the band of his unit, played at all its marches, and later, when in France, supplied its church music, and played the Glouchester Bantams from our gun positions into the trenches in June 1916, whence in August, same year, through suffering from gas, he was sent to Blighty. Then apparently well enough, he was transferred to the Entertainment Company, but being discovered not wholly cured, he was discharged unfit for military duties in December, 1917. He is now back in Edinburgh playing around the East of Scotland, and added to this he has been engaged by Winner Records for all the world.”

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